Wednesday, February 14, 2024

1936 Sparton, Part 2...

 Here's another photo dump on the Sparton. I'm still experimenting with various ways to remove the finish / strip the radio for restoration. I've had a lot of tips from guys on the various Antique Radio groups, and have been trying them tonight. The video below explains it better...

Below, gluing and pressing another small piece of veneer in place before stripping the cabinet. Overall, the cabinet is in great shape.


Testing Citri-Strip on the top of the radio cabinet. I've never used it before, and it seems to take a couple of applications on this cabinet. 


After first application of stripper, I'm wetting the area down with mineral spirits to remove excess stripper.


Second application of the citrus based stripper. Not much more coming off, but a little. Not sude this is the best way, the crowns on the cabinet are a mess and tough to clean & strip.


The next 2 photos are of the cabinet top after the second application of the stripper. I've wetted it down with mineral spirits again, to remove any excess and see what the wood might look like when refinished.


Next, here's the top with all finish removed, cleaned, and totally dry. Wow, those veneers are beautiful! Someone said this is "Tigers Grain Maple".


The next two photos show a different process. One of the experienced restorers told me they often only clean the cabinet, then use a rag with lacquer thinner to level the surface and remove some of the finish. Since the radio is finished in lacquer, lacquer thinner is a solvent and will dissolve the finish. I tried it... In the first photo below, the area on the RH side of the pic is untouched, worn, and scratched. The LH side of the pic is where I used a rag with lacquer thinner.... it works! Wow, it softened and leveled the existing lacquer finish, and the scrapes / scuffs disappeared!! Same in the second photo, I rubbed it into the lower cabinet leg, and it is as if it were refinished!


In the photo below, I did the upper cabinet leg with stripper, and it looks no better or worse than the section I rubbed in with lacquer thinner. Amazing...


The cabinet face is now stripped, cleaned, and rubbed down with lacquer thinner. Wow, that wood is BEAUTIFUL!


 Next, I experimented on the cabinet base / feet. They are rough and really scratched up.  In the second pic I tested a small area by rubbing it out with the rag / lacquer thinner method. It cleaned up and blended somewhat. I'll really need to sand and tint those, I think. In the 3rd photo, I used Citri-Strip on the LH foot. It is notably darker, but needs stripping, again. In the forth pic, the RH foot is blended a bit more with a rag and thinner.

Above, I'm pointing to the "rays" in the Tiger Grain Maple used on the front of the cabinet. They also "book matched" the two passes of veneer on either side of the cabinet face. Beautiful craftsmanship!